Thursday, April 02, 2015

And carrying on

How I know I'm an introvert: a few challenging personal interactions and I feel like I am DONE with the world, and want to build a blanket fort and not let anyone else in.

Yesterday was about gettin' stuff done. I had to review textbooks for one class I teach (this is a class several of us teach, and so it will be a committee decision, which brings with it another level of anxiety about 'Is my opinion totally unfounded on anything reasonable? Did I miss something important the other people saw?'). But. One of them was out (probably someone else looking at it) so I can't mark that task as "done."

And I graded a batch of exams.

And I applied grades and finally got off the fence about the plagiarized papers. (One, I figured I could justifiably say it was sloppy attribution rather than plagiarism - from what I could tell, it was a few sentences out of the thing. The others had more copied stuff, and it was stuff copied from sites NOT cited [no one uses library books or paper copies of things any more*], so that makes me more suspicious)

(* a sort of anti-protip? It would be harder to catch material plagiarized from a library book, because I'd actually have to go over there and look at it. But then again - it's a lot easier to Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V from a webpage than to retype a whack of text)

As I was grading the exams, I took a call from someone I know that I do some volunteer work with. Something we regularly do is coming up, but not immediately, and truth be told, I'd pushed it back to the back of my head. But the person in question, well, it always sounds to me like they are saying, "Why haven't you done this sooner!" and that was what the call was about, and so I immediately started my typical strategy with this sort of thing: "yes, yes, I know. I should have been working on it but I forgot and things are going crazy here and yes I will get to it and I really probably not to be involved with this any more..." and essentially saying "Me bad, you good" as a placating gesture. Well, the person continued to talk - probably about 20 minutes, during which I made neutral sounds but kind-of-sort-of continued to grade. Eventually the person got onto the tack of "Oh, I know how busy you are." (Do you really? Because when I call busy people up on the phone, I state my business and try to be done within five minutes). But I did keep listening because I get the feeling this is someone who doesn't always get listened to a whole lot - I have a few people in my life like that and I have to admit, there are times I don't get listened to a whole lot (which is partly why I have the blog) and so I feel bad trying to cut them off.

And then, as I was on the last exam or two, a knock comes on my door. It's one of my students from another class. This is someone who is trying to graduate, who is struggling in the class, and is having some family problems.

I will say, one thing I've learned in my years of teaching is how to tell when someone's genuinely crying because they can't deal any more, and when someone is crying because they think it will generate sympathy. This guy was genuinely crying a little bit. I didn't know what to say. I made some suggestions that might help....but I have a hard time knowing what to say when the tears are over something I have no power to fix.

It was about 5 pm when I got home (2 hours later than I anticipated - I go to work at 7 am so occasionally knocking off at 3 doesn't sound unreasonable to me, especially since I sometimes carry work home).

I could also tell the level of my "doneness" with human interaction - I couldn't really muster the energy to talk to my parents on the phone (they usually call on Wednesday nights).

I got a few more rounds done on the hair for the Mabel Pines doll but that was it.

The other thing I'm not working on? My manuscript. I'm probably close to ready to submit, and I had started the "putting it into the proper format for the journal" step, but other stuff pulled me away from that. The urgent stuff always pushes out the important stuff.

I also need to not turn on the computer when I get home and do stuff like practice piano and knit instead.

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